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Quotable: Wednesday Open Locker Room


Q: Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb is tough to rattle but if he's not in his spots he can be inaccurate.
A: "That's the same with any quarterback. If you put pressure on them they can make mistakes, but McNabb is a veteran. He's a good quarterback that has made plenty of plays in this league. You've got to be ready and prepared to make plays in the game."

Q: Did you grow up a Philadelphia fan?
A: "Yeah I did. This is exciting but we've got to go in there and get the win."

Q: Are you going to put your colors aside from your childhood for this game?
A: "Yeah, my family is all Eagles fans so it's kind of weird. I am on the Falcons and I only want us to win."

Q: Does McNabb have the Favre confidence where he can throw for 400 yards if he gets into a rhythm?
A: "That's exactly how McNabb is. He will get on a roll and it seems like he's completing everything. You've just got to try to pressure him and make some plays on the ball. Then may you can get him off of his square and he will have a rough game."

Q: Do you look at this game as your first playoff game?
A: "We're looking at it as every game in the NFL you've got to win. Everybody knows that these are big games coming down the stretch and we're going to go in there and try to get the win."

Michael Jenkins

Q: What are your feelings and other former teammates of Michael Vick coming back to the Georgia Dome this Sunday?
A: "It won't be any different. It's still Philly against Atlanta. That's the main thing right there. I am happy for Michael and that he's back in the league and in a good situation. But, ultimately it's about Atlanta versus Philly this weekend."

Q: Do you think it's being overshadowed with Vick only playing 24 snaps this season?
A: "No not really. Of course it's going to be a big topic with the history that he has here. Like I said I'm happy for him but it still comes down to us against them."

Q: Do you look at this game as your first playoff game?
A: "No you still take it one game at a time. We can't worry about all the playoff scenarios and things like that. We just take it one game at a time and see what happens in the end."

Q: The Eagles defense is ranked in the top ten in the NFL. What are some things they do well?
A: "They fly around. They give you multiple things on third down. They try to confuse you and confuse the quarterback. They've got a front four that can really rush the passer. It's going to be a good challenge for us."

Q: What can you learn from the game against the Eagles last year?
A: "It's pretty much the same guys. Asante Samuel, the safeties are a little different, they've got Sean Jones there now. They still do the same things. They're still going to bring pressure on the quarterback and they can do that multiple ways. It's going to be a good matchup."

Michael Turner

Q: Do you think you're going to play?
A: "I don't know. I'm taking it day by day. I'm not ruling myself out and I'm not saying that I'm going to play, but I'm just taking it one day at a time."

Q: How do you feel now than the Wednesday before the Giants game?
A: "I feel better now than the Wednesday before. Ankle sprains, they are funny injuries. You've got to take your time with it, not rush things and make sure that you're as close to one-hundred percent as possible."

Q: What did Redman's game winning throw do to this locker room as far as having confidence in him?
A: "We always had confidence in him. It was a big play and we get excited when anyone makes a play, especially at the end of the game to win something. It's just a feeling that everybody accepts and loves to have when you fight for something all week and it comes down to the final play, to pull it off like that. We just felt good about Red and we're happy for him."

Q: With you, Matt, Harvey and Baker leaving Sunday's game with injuries, what does this win say about the team?
A: "That tells you what type of team we have. We will keep fighting no matter who is out there and keep fighting and try to win football games."

Q: On the play where you were reinjured was the guy grabbing at you or pull you in an awkward way?
A: "It was just the way I got tackled. The guy fell on my ankle. Everything happened so fast I can't remember everything. It was a big pile up and I got bent back a little bent, and I was out for the rest of the game."

Q: Have you ever had turf toe?
A: "No I've never had turf toe. Knock on wood."

Q: But you've known guys who have and it's a painful injury.
A: "It's a tough injury. I've seen guys struggle with it a lot and I've seen guys bounce back pretty quick from it. It all depends on the person, how much pain they can tolerate and how severe the injury is."

Q: Any risk about coming back?
A: "No, I'll do it every time. I feel the team needs me out there and we need everybody out there. If I can go and give some type of effort out there I will suit up each time and I will not have any regrets about that."

Chris Redman

Q: Are all the butterflies out?
A: "Yeah pretty much. You kind of just go through your routine that you've stuck with over the years. Just try not to get to nervous and go out there and have fun."

Q: What do you think about the Eagles defense?
A: "They're a great defense. We're going to have to put forth a really good effort in order to be successful. I'm excited about it though and I think it's going to be a good challenge."

Q: Do you look at this game as a playoff game?
A: "I think that every game is a playoff game. From the start of the season you've got to win games. It will be no different. We're going to go out there and put forth the same effort as it was the first game. We're going to lay it on the line and go out there and play really hard."

Q: How is this week different for you?
A: "Well everybody thinks that the backup quarterback is the best job in the world until it's time to go, but that's part of it. You've got to be ready for any challenge and any situation, whether it's one go or who knows how many games. So just go out there and I'll try to contribute to the team whatever I can contribute."

Q: How much will the game experience from last week help you and this week of practice?
A: "I think that the week of practice definitely helps with the timing with receivers and the flow of running the offense. I'm looking forward to this week, to really preparing for these guys and it's going to take a great effort for us this week."

Q: Are you preparing like you're going to have Turner back?
A: "We've got so many great back that I'm not too worried about it. Obviously, we would love to have Michael turner in there as much as we can, but we have a long list of really good running backs. We are just going to go out there and we won't prepare any different. We're just going to do what we've always done."

Q: Are there some things that you're working on not doing against the Eagles, like stare down receivers, etc?
A: "Well there probably are but I'm not going to say. I'm just going to try to do a little better in reading and all the fundamentals of quarterbacking. I think that the more that you're out there, the more comfortable you are, the more you can get used to getting out there and calling plays and the feel of the game. I watched the tape and I definitely have things that I need to work on. It was a good effort and everything, but I saw a lot of improving that I need to do as far as to get better this week."

Q: Did the hits you took last week help prepare you in anyway?
A: "It felt great. It really did. Some people were asking if I was sore the next day and I felt pretty good. That's part of being a quarterback, you're going to wake up the next morning a little sore and you're going to take some bumps and bruises. But, they feel a lot better when you win."

Q: You've got to have confidence to play in this league. Did that final throw against Tampa do anything for you?A: "Definitely, I think that anytime that you can go out there and step up. You've got to make big throws or you wouldn't be standing here right now. That's something I am confident in myself and hopefully the team is confident in me as well."

Matt Bryant

Q: When did you get the call to come and kick in the barn yesterday?
A: "I flew up late Sunday night."

Q: How did it go for you?
A: "It was a great workout. It was probably one of the best workouts that I've had. I felt good and I felt strong. Everything went pretty good."

Q: In training camp you had a hamstring injury is that fine?
A: "Oh yeah, it's gone."

Q: Is there any difference when kicking in a dome than kicking outside?
A: "There's no wind. Regardless, you've got to put it through the uprights. That's the only that that I've got to be concerned with."

Q: How long did it take you for you to get comfortable with your long snapper your holder?
A: "Yesterday it was us working together during the workout and I don't think that it could've gotten any better. With that in mind I feel very confident. I've been in situations where you encounter a guy or a group, because we're now a unit. I've been in scenarios where it's been shaky or you've been not sure and it kind of takes you a while to get that fluidness going. But, it went well yesterday and hopefully it can only get better."

Q: What was it like waiting for that call to come?
A: "You watch and it doesn't do you any good. It doesn't matter. For me, this year I didn't kick in the preseason, so I went ahead and did the UFL deal. Just because I wanted to be able to work with a snapper and a holder, so that whenever I did get that workout I wouldn't have to be like I haven't worked with a snapper or holder in how many months now? I was just staying in the game. You watch a little bit, but you've still got to be prepared no matter what it is. You watch, but it's not a major ordeal for you to."

Q: Can you comment on what happened with Jason Elam? Is that just the life of a kicker?
A: "I don't know Jason. Obviously he's been one of the better kickers in the history of the NFL. He's a great guy, which probably, foremost, above anything else says what kind of person you are. The times that I had met Jason, he's been a great guy. It's unfortunate to see any kicker go through those kinds of struggles. As far as what happened I don't know. It would have to be something Jason would have to answer."

Q: What does it take for you to be embraced in the locker room?
A: "You've got to make your kicks. A field goal kicker, they say, is from the penthouse to the outhouse and then that next kick back to the penthouse again. The goal is to stay in the penthouse and then everybody can come visit you."

Erik Coleman

Q: What do you think about the Eagles offense?
A: "They've got a lot of weapons and Donovan McNabb does a great job of distributing the ball around to his receivers and his running backs. They've got a very god tight end and the running backs are very good receivers. It just makes it tough. They do a good job of keeping you on your toes and keeping you off balance."

Q: Can you build off of your six consecutive defensive stops from last week's game?
A: "We just have to look at the film and look at the good things off of the film and just continue to go, continue to get better and continue to work hard. Hopefully we can be successful."

Q: What do you think do to try to not let DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek get the big plays?
A: "You obviously have to play your fundamental football. DeSean Jackson does a great job of running after the catch. He's a very, very fast receiver, very quick. He's a lightning bug receiver back there and he makes it tough. We're just going to have to play out the game plan and go from there."

Q: Will any of the defensive guys be targeting DeSean Jackson because of his recent injury?
A: "No, we're not out there to hurt each other. I know that he may have had an injury, but we know that he wouldn't be out there if he wasn't healthy. We're just going to treat him like any other player."

Joe Zelenka

Q: Talk about getting the call so late in the season.
A: "Getting the call was great. Anytime you get a phone call from a NFL team it's like getting a call from Miss America to go out on a date. It was an awesome phone call to get and I was honored to get it and come in for just a work out. I didn't know I was going to be sitting here talking to you guys today. I came in just to work out and to show them what I can do and they decided to make a change. I feel bad for Bryan and I feel bad for Mike not being able to finish the season first of all. I feel bad for Bryan. That's just a tough situation, but that's what this league is, it's a tough business. If I don't perform you're going to be talking to somebody else next week and that's just the reality of this position. Hopefully this is the last time that I talk to you. When you're talking to a long snapper that means that you screwed up royally and seriously anytime there's a camera in front of my face talking about football, it's not a good thing. I'm just excited for the opportunity and excited to be a part of this organization and this team. There are a lot of guys in the locker room that I know and that I've gotten to watch over the years. It's just fun to be a part of it all."

Q: How important is it to get the chemistry going before such a big game this week?
A: "You said it, it is important. It's the most important thing. I want those guys to feel absolutely comfortable with me. I want them to know that every time we line up they are going to get the perfect snap, it's going to be right on the money. I want them to have no doubt in their mind that they just have to do their job because I'm taking care of mine. Yeah, we're pressed for time and things are happening fast and we've got a game in a couple days, but we don't play of Wednesdays, we play on Sundays. We've got a couple of days to work together and figure each other out and to sit down and break bread and really just get the ball rolling."

Curtis Lofton

Q: What makes McNabb such a challenge?
A: "With McNabb, he has a great arm but can also run the ball. He's a dual threat quarterback. The d-lineman have to be disciplined in their rushing games and also the cornerbacks have to be disciplined in coverage. You've got to plaster when he starts to move around and we can't allow those big plays."

Q: McNabb has a Favre like mentality doesn't he?
A: "He's going to try to make a play regardless. That's what he does with his legs and his arm. He makes plays and he puts the ball in tough spots. He's always going to try to make a play."

Q: Do you look at this game as your first playoff game?A: "Definitely not. We still have five games left so we're just taking it each game at a time and every game is very important to us. It's in December, so that makes it much more important for us to win a game and just be ready for it."

Q: How are you feeling physically?
A: "I'm ready to go. It's toward the end of the season and this is where you start hitting your home stretch. I've been sitting in the cold tubs and eating right and doing everything I need to do to be fresh and I feel pretty good."

Q: Who stands out on the Eagles offense?
A: "They've got two receivers, Maclin and DeSean Jackson, who have great speed and can really stretch the defense vertically. They've also got a rookie running back, McCoy. He's a very talented slasher and he's very good. It's going to test our defense on all aspects of the game."

Tony Gonzalez

Q: What stands out defensively for the Eagles?
A: "They bring it, especially those two defensive ends. They've got Asante Samuel on the outside. He's a veteran, a guy who's been around a while and makes plays. They blitz a lot on third down, but overall football is football, they play hard and we've got to be ready for it."

Q: How is the transition from Ryan to Redman working for you?
A: "I think that he will pick up where he left off. I think that he played pretty well to come in like that, but that's what you expect out of your second string quarterback. Especially guy like him, he's been around and had starting experience. I wasn't surprised and I'm happy that he was able to go out there and do a good job and I would anticipate him doing the same thing this weekend."

Q: Redman joked that people say that the second string quarterback is the greatest job until you're called in to perform and he did with that last throw.
A: "If I were him, I certainly don't want the starter to go down, but once you get your shot and you go in there and play pretty well, like he did. He did what he was supposed to do and that's what his title is I guess."

Q: The offense is a little banged up. How concerned are you about the offense?A: "I would rather have them going with us, but unfortunately that's football though. At this time of year a lot of guys are injured and you look at Philly and they're going through the same thing. Everybody has injuries at this time of year but that's the nature of this game. It's how it goes and you've got to have guys step up, who are getting paid to play football. It's also opportunity to. If it was me, a guy that would be filling in this week, I would be all over it. I would be ready to roll. This is what you want to do. This is what you love to do. This is what you have to passion to go out there and play. I think guys are going to step in and play nicely."


THE BEAT BLOG:Falcons news and updates from John Manasso * J. MIKE'S MISSIVES:Thoughts and commentary from the managing editor * MULTIMEDIA:Interview videos and highlights from * QUOTABLE:Falcons players talk about Sunday's game with the Eagles * ASK A QUESTION:Safety Erik Coleman takes fan questions via Voices Heard * INJURY REPORT:Click here for Falcons and Eagles injury updates * WHAT TO WATCH:Some key things to watch for in Sunday's game * GAME INFO:Information for fans attending the game from * PREVIEW PACK:Stats, preview information and more from the Falcons (PDF) * EXPERT'S TAKE:Rick Stroud discusses the Falcons playoff chances

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